COVID Update I Facilities Accepting New Patients

By Stepworks Connect

Houston, we STILL have a problem.

Our patients have a potentially fatal illness: addiction. At any given time, there are over 22 million people in the United States who have a substance use problem. We must remain open to help those suffering from this deadly disease. We want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the steps we are taking during this time of national illness. 

Stepworks COVID-19 FAQ: 

Are we accepting new patients?

Yes. While we are taking extra precautions and implementing safeguards during this time, Stepworks remains committed to being a place of hope for those with substance use disorders. All of our facilities remain open and are accepting new patients.

What precautions are we taking?

We are screening all incoming admissions for the following: recent travel to high-risk areas, known exposure to the virus and the presence of cold-like symptoms, especially in the elderly. We will decline any admission who has, in our opinion, a higher than normal risk of having the disease.

Within our facilities, we continue to provide information about COVID-19 to all staff and patients. Throughout the day our Stepworks’ staff sanitize surfaces and make hand sanitizer available to our patients under staff supervision. Masks are provided to any patient or employee who has signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. And finally, if a patient develops a respiratory illness, at their request, they may be given the opportunity to seek evaluation at the local emergency room at their own expense.

Are we continuing with visitation?

In order to keep safety a top priority, we have suspended all visitation for our patients at this time. In place of visitation, patients will be allowed to sign up for extended phone time with their family members. Additionally, Skype or Facetime sessions will be scheduled to allow for our patients and their families to connect. 

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, please call our Access Center at (800) 545-9031.

Group Therapy: Stepping Away From Isolation

By Stepworks Connect

One of the greatest challenges facing patients suffering from addiction is the tendency to self-isolate. Many addicts become accustomed to being alone and distancing themselves from those that love and care about them. The habit of isolation and the fear of trusting and depending on others is a huge obstacle patients must overcome during their time in treatment. 

At Stepworks our therapists use group therapy as a way to reverse those deeply rooted habits of isolation. We asked Stepworks of London’s therapist Chris Mills about both the challenges and successes of group therapy. 

Our clients are coming from a place in their life where they have been isolated by the disease of addiction for so long. We have to work to help them see the benefit of being a part of our group. When we do, they realize they are loved and cared about.”

– Chris Mills, Stepworks Therapist

In group therapy at Stepworks, patients learn that building a community of support and accountability is vital to their success in recovery. So, how does Stepworks build this type of environment for our patients? We have a few tools in our recovery toolbox that we use. These tools allow group therapy to be an experience that will aid clients in achieving their recovery goals.

Group Therapy Tools and Tips: 


Provide Accountability: 

Even from the start of each group session there is a level of accountability for patients. They are expected to arrive on time, be prepared, and contribute to the activity or discussion for the day. This allows patients to form introductory time-management skills and understand that other people are relying on them to commit time and energy to the group. 

Create A Safe Place: 

It is clearly understood in our group therapy time that what is said in the group room stays in the group room. Our patients who may struggle with trust and vulnerability learn to depend on this time as a safe place to express their feelings and emotions. This safe place helps patients to develop a sense of camaraderie and belonging. 

Address Challenges: 

A very important element of group therapy sessions is the valuable statement, “Me too.” When patients hear that their peers are struggling with similar obstacles such as cravings, anger, resentment, or feelings of defeat, it helps them to see they are not alone in this journey. Feeling understood by their peers helps them to process their feelings and motivates them to overcome the challenges they are experiencing. 

Celebrate Success:

Seeing others succeed is one of the greatest motivators and positive impacts of group therapy. Watching the recovery journey of their fellow group members helps patients to believe, “If they can succeed, so can I.” The successful actions of a patient that are celebrated and often repeated and the long-lasting effects of positive feedback helps patients begin to understand the impact of the positive choices they make.

At Stepworks we work hard to welcome clients and show them that they don’t have to be alone anymore. Are you looking for a recovery community that can help you or your loved one? Call our Access Center to learn more about our program and the admission process at 1-800-545-9031. 

STUCK: Tips for Coping With COVID-19 Isolation

By Stepworks Connect

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with your new normal these days? Are the cancelled events, long days at home, and the stress and panic of COVID-19 starting to weigh on your mind? 

We realize that the current situation of our world is likely impacting your mental health. We asked Stepworks CEO and founder Dr. Tom Ingram to share why taking care of your body and your brain is so vital during a time like this.

“It is important to practice good self-care as this crisis continues. No, I am not talking about sanitizers and quarantines. Humans are naturally social beings. Too much alone time and too much isolation takes a toll on our mental health. For those battling loneliness and depression already, the next few weeks are likely to worsen the problem.”

Tom Ingram, M.D.

We don’t want you to feel alone in the quest to protect your health and well-being. We asked Dr. Ingram to share 10 tips with us on how we can counteract isolation and strive to make a positive impact on our mental health during this stressful time.

1. Reach out to each other over the phone.

Not texting, Facebook, or email. Having a conversation with real live human beings can help you to feel connected to others in a way that messaging can’t. 

2. Exercise, exercise, exercise! 

Our bodies have wonderful “pick-me-up” chemicals called endorphins. Exercise has been proven to be an awesome tool in treating depression and anxiety.

3. Go outside. 

Social distancing does not prohibit going outside. The advantage of being in Kentucky is that we have lots of wide open spaces. Now is the time to take advantage of that. 

4. Go to the light!

It is important to expose yourself to as much light as possible. If it is sunny, go outside or sit in front of a window. Turn on all the lights in your house. Light is important in regulating our moods. Low sunlight is a cause of a type of depression (seasonal affective disorder).

5. Take long drives in the country. 

Gas is cheap. Get out of the house and get a change of scenery. 

6. Make use of Facebook’s built-in video conference capability or another similar technology. 

“We used it to talk to our grandkids while we were at sea near New Zealand. Try it out with your friends and family,” said Dr. Ingram.

7. Turn off the TV and listen to music.

Get away from the news and constant stream of information. Choose music that uplifts you (bonus points if you move your body while you listen to the music).

8. Step away from your computer and do something active.

Many of you may be working from home during this time. Be sure to set timers for yourself so you remember to move throughout the day.

9. Stick to a routine.

Do not treat this time as a chance to slack off on your routines and normal structure. Do not sleep, eat, drink or nap too much. A routine helps with consistency and gives a sense of normalcy in chaotic times. 

Last, but certainly not least,  

10. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or lonely, do something about it. 

Own it. Ask for help. Reach out. If you are in recovery, reach out to your sponsor, or connect with us on our Recovering(me) app. We are here to help you. 

President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Happiness is a choice.” Now is the time to think positively. Research has shown that if you act happy your body will become happy. Practice smiling. Practice laughing. Practice being happy…And we want to help you do that.

For the next few weeks, Stepworks will be sharing Dr. Ingram’s tips and insights from our Stepworks therapy team on our social media platforms. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for reminders on how to maintain good mental health during this difficult time. 

COVID Update | Family Visitation

By Stepworks Connect

Stepworks is currently monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and has a plan in place to prepare for and respond to any health and safety issues that may impact the organization. As the situation evolves, our priority remains the health and well-being of our employees and patients.  

Because of this, we are suspending all visitation for our patients at this time. Stepworks understands the hardships that this places on our patients and their families, but everyone’s safety needs to be the priority at this time. 

In place of visitation, patients will be allowed to sign up for extended phone time with their family members. Additionally, Skype or FaceTime sessions will be scheduled to allow for our patients and their families to connect. Patients will be given time over the next week to reach out to their families to schedule tele-visits and choose a mode of communication for these visits.

Stepworks Facility Extensions
Stepworks of London: 800-545-9031, Ext. 2100
Stepworks of Bowling Green: 800-545-9031, Ext. 2200
Stepworks Woodland Dr: 800-545-9031, Ext. 2300
Stepworks Crowne Pointe: 800-545-9031, Ext. 2400
Stepworks of Nicholasville: 800-545-9031, Ext. 2500

To download a free Skype account, please visit this link:

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response

By Stepworks Connect

At Stepworks we understand that COVID-19 (or coronavirus) has everyone concerned. While information regarding the virus is changing rapidly, we want you to know the steps that Stepworks is taking to minimize the disruption within our facilities and answer a few questions.

First: Are we accepting new patients?

The answer is yes. While coronavirus presents some significant health challenges, the reality is that addiction, or substance use disorder, is a life-threatening disease. In fact, hundreds of people die daily from overdose deaths alone. So, while we are implementing some safeguards for our patients and staff to address COVID-19, we are also committed to providing life-saving treatment services for our patients and families. To put it simply, addiction doesn’t stop because of coronavirus, so neither are we.

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How “Treatment Team” Helps Patients Succeed

By Stepworks Connect

One key element to the culture at Stepworks is the fostering of a sense of belonging like being on a team. Some even call it a tribe of sorts—a group of people who work their hardest to see patients triumph over the disease of addiction. That’s why each week key staff gather around the table with patients individually and take time to focus on their personal goals and their unique path to recovery. We call this “treatment team.” But it may feel more like an incredible support team cheering on each of Stepworks’ patients.

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Famished: Including Good Nutrition in Your Recovery

By Stepworks Connect

Substance use disorders can have long-lasting emotional, mental, and physical side effects. Many of these side effects are very well known, but the lesser-known lack of good nutrition is one we tackle daily in our treatment programs at Stepworks. Regular consumption of alcohol or other drugs deprives the body of essential nutrients, while many other drugs suppress or increase appetite, wreaking havoc on the overall digestive health of people suffering from addiction. Meth users may go days without eating. Marijuana smokers are notorious for binge-eating junk foods.

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A Look Inside Stepworks’ Innovative and Individualized PICC Line Care

By Stepworks Connect

Across our state and beyond, hospital patients are being treated for life-threatening infections related to injection drug use—but receiving zero treatment for their substance use disorders. Our Stepworks team knew something had to change. We saw the effects of this endless cycle, and it was devastating.
Due to factors like the high likelihood of relapse, continued injection drug use, and generally low compliance of drug-addicted patients, patients have historically been required to receive their entire course of antibiotics while hospitalized. The cost of keeping these patients in the hospital for 30 days and longer is extremely expensive. Meanwhile the disease of addiction, which caused their hospitalization in the first place, remains untreated. Our successful PICC line care program is one of the first of its kind in the country to address this issue.

“This is medical treatment that makes recovery a priority,” says Stepworks Nurse Nicole Smith.

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Fighting for My Life: Shauna’s Story of Recovery from Alcohol

By Stepworks Connect

Shauna O’Nan looked around one day and realized her life was gone—everything she had known and loved, robbed from her by the disease of alcohol addiction.

“I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I was so far gone, I didn’t know how to be human.”

Shauna is a mom, a daughter, a friend, who made decisions that left her spiraling out of control. She recounts how her alcohol addiction began at an early age. With each new traumatic turn in life, Shauna’s addiction gained a stronger foothold. Before long she was “doping and drugging,” as Shauna says, on a daily basis. Her once fruitful career and vibrant motherhood were replaced by dark trailers without electricity and consecutive days without food.

“My parents hadn’t seen me in years, my sons didn’t know if I was alive or dead, and no one trusted me. Even when I called for help and my parents made plans to pick me up, they were fearful I was setting them up.”

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Now What? Reaching for Success After Treatment

By Stepworks Connect

So you’ve spent 30 days in residential treatment and you’re starting to experience the benefits of health and wholeness. It probably feels really good! At the same time, you’re well aware that the journey is just beginning. Remaining committed and intentional in your next steps is going to be key to your recovery success.

What does that mean in practical terms? We asked Rebecca McCracken, a therapist at Stepworks of Nicholasville, to share a few of her recommended next steps for people fresh out of recovery. Here’s what she had to say.

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